As I was edging the lawn this week, I found myself thinking about how fast and easily the dirt and grass overtake the sidewalk. And I used to procrastinate doing it. Yet almost everything in our lives requires some maintenance – at least if we expect it to last. If you think about it, there’s plenty of things you are happy to maintain – your relationships, your job, what else? What are the things that you take care of in life?
When we start to think about it, there are many things that need our attention and care. Our cars need to have oil changes and the tires need air. Our clothes need to be laundered and dealt with – hung up or folded. Our dishes need to get washed. Our homes need to be cleaned periodically. Some of these can feel like work, yet we manage to get them done – at least most of the time.
Maintenance is work – even when we realize the value of it. Even if these are things that are inconsistently done, you recognize the value of it. Life is full of things aren’t easy.
What I have come to realize is that virtually everything in our lives requires maintenance. Each piece of décor needs to be dusted eventually. The knives in my kitchen need to be sharpened. The clocks on the walls need batteries as well as to be changed twice a year. The lawnmower that helps me with the grass needs to be cleaned and sharpened. The heater needs a new filter regularly. The list goes on and on.
It’s a decent argument for limiting the amount of stuff that we bring into our lives. How much time and energy do we want to spend maintaining that? Is that item worth the maintenance needed?
Yet, we also cannot eliminate all things from our lives. We need things – I appreciate my dishes and the food that I put on them. I wouldn’t want to go around naked. I like sleeping on my mattress and box spring – even if I need to rotate the mattress regularly.
We need things and therefore need to maintain those things. Therefore, consider these questions in reference to maintaining things:
- What comes more easily for you?
- What makes that easier for you?
- What takes work to maintain; yet you still do it consistently?
- What makes that worthwhile for you to work on it?
- What are you willing to do?
- And then what are you potentially willing to give up to maintain this or that?
There are no easy answers to maintaining things – or rather to developing new patterns of maintaining things. I encourage you to recognize the things that you already maintain. Then you can use that knowledge you can gain from these successes and apply them to new areas needing maintenance.